Upcoming Maverick and Stevens review discussion

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Jul 3, 2016
Alright folks, I'm currently almost at the midway point in my review between the Maverick 88 and the Stevens 320 shotguns. This review is to show the benefits and drawbacks of two of the more common shotguns in the "Budget Shotgun" category, as they perform in the defensive shotgun role.

I wanted to make a few points about the reviews, and things that I've seen so far.

Point #1 - My review guns have both been modified from a field gun. They both have their barrels cut down from 28" to around 18.25" by a competent gunsmith in my area. The idea was that at the time it was very hard to find the HD versions of either gun, but the field versions were pretty easily available, so why not show what that would be like. I'm partially including this work in the "price" total; as someone who is comfortable doing the barrel shortening at home could save a bit from the overall price, but this varies from person to person.

Point #2 - As of right now each gun will be subject to a "500" round review. Both guns had 100 rounds of birdshot put through before being cut down to ensure at least decent function for the review. Then the guns will get an additional 250 rounds of birdshot, and 250 rounds of buckshot run through, with optional slug testing depending on availability.

Point #3 - Stevens 320 issues -
I have run into an issue with my test Stevens, which will likely result in a a trip to the gunsmith. This has been occuring since early in the test, within 200 rounds(within 100 rounds after the barrel shortening), the gun seems to hang up when feeding shorter star crimped shells.
310 rounds in, and I held it until I can have the gun looked at.

Point #4 - I'm making use of my local gunsmith, to help avoid any worry about the quality of said modifications or any required repairs. I'm not going through the companies for repairs, because I'm aware that at least Savage will just replace the entire gun because it's cheaper than fixing any major issues.

Question for interested parties

Do you want to see the review done with both guns as bone stock as possible? The Maverick 88 has a much larger pool of accessories to choose from, and I would love to add an SGA stock to the review gun, but that WILL give the gun an ergonomics edge for the review. However the total price point for the Maverick will also jump significantly... So what do you guys think?

Otherwise if anyone has any questions, comments, or concerns, let me know. I'm definitely interested in hearing everyone's thoughts.

~ Leo
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Yeah I'm going to vote bone stock here too. The objective with these guns is the low expense.

If you hunt ducks and would be willing to take them out a couple of times it would be nice to see how they handle the cold and damp.

I have a 320 that seems to develop a little rusty spot on the bottom of the lifter where the shells rub on it loading. I don't use it much or any shotgun really, just a single shot 20 gauge for night critters.
I'm more interested in a bone stock review.
Even though it was $50 more, I bought the Mossberg for my grandson. This was due to advice from a friend who works the gun dpt at a large retail store. They seem to have a lot of "attempted" returns for the Stevens due to feed problems. Your post seems to affirm this, but I'd still like to read your review of both.
Having owned a maverick, I can say with certainty I would buy again. Mine never missed a beat. I sold it to buy a Charles Daly 12ga semiauto that was on clearance at Walmart and I never had any trouble with it either. I look forward to seeing the results, particularly with the 320 as they seem more plentiful and the ones I have handled seemed pretty pitiful. Just don’t feel like they are built to last.
I'm more interested in a bone stock review.
They seem to have a lot of "attempted" returns for the Stevens due to feed problems. Your post seems to affirm this, but I'd still like to read your review of both.

I definitely understand, I have heard similar.

~ Leo
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